As a sponsor in a family class sponsorship application, there are many requirements and conditions that you must abide by. If these requirements and conditions are not met, there can be unexpected consequences that can affect the sponsor in the future. As a result, it is very important to recognize these requirements and conditions and to know how long these conditions will be in place for. Therefore, in this article, I will address what an undertaking entails, what happens when a sponsor is unable to fulfill the terms of the undertaking and the consequences that come as a result of the failure to fulfill these terms.
What Does an Undertaking Entail
An undertaking is a contract signed by the sponsor and the sponsored applicant indicating that the sponsor will be responsible for the sponsored applicant for a period from three to ten years. The undertaking becomes a legal contract with the minister of Citizenship and Immigration and is lawfully binding. The responsibility for the sponsored applicant entails financial responsibility and support for that individual by the sponsor for the entire duration. This financial responsibility entirely depends on the relationship to the sponsored applicant as well as their age.
From the moment the undertaking is signed by the sponsor, they are required to ensure that the sponsored applicant receives any financial support for any basic needs they would need while in Canada. By doing this, they will also ensure that the sponsored applicant does not require any social assistance from the Canadian government. Subsequently, if the sponsored applicant were to receive any social assistance, the sponsor is also responsible to repay the Canadian government any and all funds that were given to the sponsored applicant.
The undertaking begins on the day the sponsored applicant enters Canada as a permanent resident. In most cases, the length of the undertaking will be for a minimum of ten years. However, there are certain exceptions to this time period, which depend on the relationship to the person being sponsored as well as the age of the sponsored individual. In spousal sponsorship undertakings, the length of undertaking for your spouse is three years after they receive permanent residency in Canada and successfully arrive in the country.
Consequences of Not Fulfilling Terms of Undertaking as a Sponsor
One of the most crucial consequences of not fulfilling the terms of undertaking as a sponsor is legal action being taken against the sponsor, and any co-signers, by the Canadian government. This is a possibility and does not always happen as a result of not fulfilling the terms of undertaking; however, it is important to take into consideration.
Furthermore, if the sponsored individual starts receiving social assistance from the Canadian government, then either the provincial or federal government will recover the costs from the sponsor. Consequently, the sponsor will not be able to sponsor anyone else in the future until the debt is paid in full. The sponsor will be adequately notified by the Canadian government when the sponsored individual starts to receive social assistance. Additionally, they will indicate how much is owed every month going forward until the debt is paid.
It is important to note that a sponsor’s responsibility to financially support the sponsored individual is a binding commitment and is indicated by a written contract, the undertaking, and does not change even if the sponsor’s specific circumstances change. For example, if the sponsor loses their employment and does not earn the same amount as before, they are still responsible for financially supporting the sponsored individual. In other words, no matter what, the undertaking cannot be modified, revoked or cancelled at any point in time by the Sponsor after the sponsored individual has received permanent residency in Canada and has successfully arrived in Canada as such. Furthermore, a sponsorship is not cancelled even if the sponsored individual receives Canadian citizenship or if the marriage dissolves. The sponsorship including the undertaking will remain in effect. Therefore, if the sponsor decides that they cannot financially support the sponsored individual any longer and stops providing funds, then the sponsored individual can, at that point, take legal action against the sponsor as they have a legal contract stating that they would provide financial support.
Conclusively, it is extremely important and vital to the spousal sponsorship application process that the sponsor first determines whether they can abide by all of the eligibility requirements and can sustain them for at least three years. This is especially the case if you, as the sponsor, would like to sponsor anyone else in the future, such as any other family members or your children. If you do not abide by the requirements and conditions of the undertaking, this can prevent you from sponsoring anyone else in the future and can be truly detrimental for you and your family alike.
Contact Akrami & Associates
It is essential that you have taken all of the aforementioned factors and information into consideration, if you plan on sponsoring your spouse to Canada for permanent residency. If you would like to apply for a spousal sponsorship, it is extremely important to note that these are difficult applications to pursue on your own. It is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help prior to submitting your application. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration matters. We have helped many of our clients unite with their spouses in Canada. If you believe that you may be eligible to apply, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advice.
With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!